How do I help my children to succeed in school?

Students at different grades will require different attention.  Here is some of my advice through working with over 400 students:

Grade 6-8 years:


This is a critical period to build the student’s basic math foundation, in the area of integers, fractions, multiplication, etc.  The challenge is that the curriculum in elementary school is rather relaxed, such that the student is often not well prepared for the new challenge of grade 9 without knowing it.  Another challenge is the student’s excessive reliance on the calculator instead of doing mental math, which will later hurt the student when he encounters algebra. 


Strategy:  focus on lots of practice for basic math such as multiplication, division, fractions, and integers. Repetition is the key.  Several hundred questions of practice over a period if 1 year (grade 7 or 8) is ideal


Building positive study habits: the key is to organize and allocate time to do the work for each week.  Be specific.  The student needs to sign on to which specific time block, on a piece of paper, to work on school work.

The junior high school years, grade 9 and 10:


Students without a solid foundation will immediately face problems in grade 9 and 10.  The challenge is that once the student performs poorly, he will lose confidence and interest in the subject, thinking that he is not smart enough for the subject.  The truth is often that he lacks good work habits and skills.  A more problematic situation arises when the student fails or nearly fails the grade and is advised to take the applied level.  I strongly advise against this choice.  The reason is that by taking applied math, the student will not be able to enter Advanced Functions in grade 12 without major work, and without Advanced Functions, he will be shut off from most of university programs.


Strategy:  focus on lots of practice on a variety of problems.  The curriculum is not simple, single step questions as in grade 8, but the challenge lies in the variations and variety.  The major items to understand and master for math are:  factoring, solving algebraic equation, quadratics (grade 10) and graphing. 


The student must dedicate blocks of hours to work on school work without distraction.  For grade 9 and 10 students, 1 hour per day is minimum (for math) and 8 hours per week is ideal.


At this stage the student must be aware of the importance of discipline in math, such as showing all the steps and writing down givens and statements for word problems.  This is an important habit for higher grades.


What if my child is taking applied math: there are several avenues to get out of applied.  One is to take academic in summer school.  The other is to take the course offered by us.  Beyond the credit, the student needs to get comfortable with the material by doing a lot of practice


How to encourage my child at this stage: people need to gain success in order to maintain their interest level.  With the student, start with small successes and provide lots of encouragement.  Allow the student to make mistakes during practice but point them out, so that the student must be aware of them during tests. 

The senior high school years, grade 11 and 12:


The senior grades are always stressful because competition is severe to top universities.  At the beginning of grade 11, the student needs to understand that to get into a good university program, he will need at least an 80% average, and that should be the minimum goal he should work towards.  It is always an advantage if the student knows clearly what program he wants to get into for university, because it gives him extra push and motivation.  In my booklet “How to Make Yourself Standout in University Application”, I list some of the key university programs and future career prospects. 




















Academically, the student is required to understand complex concepts, and the ideal method is to organize the knowledge and break the concepts down in simple steps, an important strategy that my tutors use to help our student. 


For Grade 11 math and Advanced Functions, the student needs to pay close attention to graphing and trigonometry, especially trigonometry ratios on a grid and transformation.  The challenge at this stage is that the student will be given a problem, and will be required to figure it out on his own, what method to use to solve them by recognizing their characteristics.  The second challenge is that, without a solid background in grade 9 and 10, he will begin losing marks on showing the steps, and not being able to complete the solution. 


Strategy:  focus on lots of practice on a variety of problems.  We help our student to organize knowledge and break down complex concepts into steps, such that they are easy to digest.  Repair any gaps from previous grades, in the area of factoring, algebraic equation and graphing. Detail matters.  Pay close attention to complete the entire solution and as ideal as it might sound, try to aim for perfect for each question attempted, because any gaps or mistake will be costly.  Sometimes teachers will deduct as much as 50% on the marks for incomplete solution.


What if my son or daughter is still struggling in grade 12: consider taking our private credit course.  In a small, supportive class setting (maximum 8 students), our students can perform better than regular school, and at the same time, we focus on the student learning key knowledge to get ready for university.  Courses we offer are:  Advanced Functions, Calculus, English 12, Chemistry 12 and Grade 11 Math.

To inquire about our Private Credit Course, Call Victor

        (905) 276 - 5556